Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada and his band, Black Pumas, opened for the Stones on their last tour, providing a scintillating vision of modern rock and roll alongside the classics. Now, Quesada injects a similar electricity into vintage ’60s and ’70s Latin American music. The result is a tripped out, deeply soulful, super funky, and headspinningly delirious confection of tunes.
Quesada has proven himself a master collaborator, having worked with Prince, Los Lobos, and the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA. So, for this album of mostly original compositions, he joined forces with an array of Latinx music vocalists. The opening track, “Mentiras Con Cariño” features iLe in a recasting of old-school boleros that’s at times suspensefully noirish, serpentine, and sexy, yet always thrilling. Other tracks include Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Girl Ultra, Angelica Garcia, and more.
“Hielo Seco” (“Dry Ice”) may just be the most out-there track, like an instrumental soundtrack to a freaky ’70s thriller. Quesada is joined on guitar by Marc Ribot and former Beastie Boys collaborator Money Mark. The scintillating cut is cinematic, with wacked-out stuttering and wah fretwork atop a slinky percussion backing and Mark’s smooth keyboards. Great music throughout.
This article originally appeared in VG’s September 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.